Entering what might have been the last game of the season for his team, IU Coach Chris Lemonis wanted timely hitting.
Then, in the seventh inning against Nebraska on Thursday, the Hoosiers strung together four consecutive two-out hits to take a lead they would not surrender.
Junior relief pitcher Jake Kelzer pitched to scoreless innings to keep IU’s season alive with a 6-2 win in an elimination game of the Big Ten Tournament.
“We’re just happy to get that monkey off our back,” Lemonis told the Big Ten Network. “It’s been a long week for us, and it shows a lot of character for our ball club, after a tough week.”
The six runs were the most IU’s scored since May 7, and broke IU out of an offensive slump that looked like it could end the season.
One of the leaders Thursday was sophomore outfielder Logan Sowers, who went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Sowers entered Thursday’s game in an 0-for-23 slump
A combination of senior starting pitcher Caleb Baragar, junior relief pitcher Thomas Belcher and Kelzer also combine to limit Nebraska to only three hits.
The Hoosiers will next play tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. against the loser of the Michigan State and Maryland game later this afternoon. Senior pitcher Evan Bell will start for IU tomorrow. The Hoosiers have won four of Bell’s last five starts.
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